The Sociology of Work Structures and Inequalities

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Understanding the world of work is often difficult for students--particularly undergraduates--to grasp. The Sociology of Work: Structures and Inequalities answers the need for a clear, engaging--and affordable--introduction to the basic concepts used by sociologists of work. Throughout, the text links the most up-to-date research and scholarship on work and occupations with their underlying sociological principles. Beginning with a thorough discussion of these core concepts, it goes on to show the historical developments of labor processes, thus allowing students to draw modern, real-world connections. The book also examines the contemporary work scene (both domestic and global), its concurrent occupational structures, and, all too often, its resultant inequalities. While remarkably accessible, The Sociology of Work does not shy away from challenging students with weightier sociological concepts, theories, and methodological issues, as well as less commonly discussed topics like Luddism, the role of gender in the industrial revolution, and the rise and decline of the workers' movement. Comprehensive and versatile, The Sociology of Work: Structures and Inequalities is ideal for courses in the sociology of work and occupations, and the sociology of organizations and corporations, as well as labor studies and human resource management. Features * Incorporates issues of gender and race throughout * Also includes separate and unique chapters on gender (Chapter 11), diversity (Chapter 12), immigration (Chapter 13), and globalization (Chapter 16) * Emphasizes the continuing importance of social theory, both classical and contemporary * Devotes an entire chapter to research methods and data sources

Author Biography

Steven Vallas is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University.
William Finlay is Professor and Department Head of Sociology at the University of Georgia.
Amy Wharton is Professor of Sociology at Washington State University and editor of the journal, Social Problems.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Sociology of Work: An Invitationp. 3
The Primacy-of-Production Thesisp. 5
The Sociology of Work: Core Principlesp. 9
Conclusionp. 16
Theoretical Traditions in the Sociology of Workp. 17
Classical Perspectives on Work and Societyp. 17
Contemporary Perspectives on Work and Societyp. 25
Perspectives on Work: Present Realities and Future Perspectivesp. 33
Studying Workers and Work: Research Methods in the Fieldp. 35
Methods for Studying Work and Workers Official Statisticsp. 36
Surveys and Interviewsp. 50
Ethnographiesp. 54
Experimentsp. 59
Summary and Conclusionp. 61
The Historical Development of Workp. 63
The Industrial Revolution and Beyond: Culture, Work, and Social Changep. 65
Understanding the Industrial Revolutionp. 66
The Meaning of Work in Preindustrial Societiesp. 66
The Rise of the Factory Systemp. 69
Gender, Family, and the Factory System: The Rise of the Male Breadwinner Normp. 75
Conclusionp. 79
The Second Industrial Revolution: Mass Production and Labor Managementp. 80
The Rise of Mass Productionp. 81
How Workers Responded to Mass Productionp. 87
The Invention of Personnel Managementp. 90
The Hawthorne Research: The Discovery of the Work Groupp. 95
Summaryp. 99
Occupational Structuresp. 101
Blue-Collar Workers and the Hidden World of Workp. 103
The Skills of Blue-Collar Workersp. 104
How Work Gets Done: Informal Work Practicesp. 110
Good Citizenship in the Workplacep. 116
Summaryp. 119
Managers: Careers at Workp. 120
The Managerial Occupationp. 121
What Do Managers Do?p. 123
Managers' Careersp. 125
Gender and Racial Differences in Access to Power and Authorityp. 129
The Future of Managementp. 138
Summaryp. 144
The Professions: Power and Status in the Workplacep. 146
Characteristics of the Professionsp. 148
Controlling Professional Work: The Professional Ethicp. 154
Professional Careersp. 159
Summaryp. 164
Service Jobs: Close Encounters with Customersp. 165
Defining Servicep. 165
Service Industries and Service Occupationsp. 166
Characteristics of Service Jobsp. 168
Control, Routinization, and Technology in Service Workp. 171
Doing Deference: Personal Service Workp. 173
Conclusion: Beyond the Service Economyp. 177
Inequalitiesp. 179
Unions in America: The Struggles of the Labor Movementp. 181
The Glory Years of Industrial Unionism: 1933-1945p. 182
The Decline of Unions After World War IIp. 189
The Costs of Union Declinep. 197
The Future of Unionsp. 203
Summaryp. 204
Gender and Workp. 206
The Rise in Women's Labor Force Participationp. 207
The Sex Segregation of Jobs and Occupationsp. 210
Maintaining Barriers Between "Women's" and "Men's" Jobsp. 212
The Gender Pay Gap and the Worth of Jobsp. 219
The Future of Gender Inequality at Workp. 224
Conclusionp. 225
Managing Diversity: Racial and Ethnic Divisions at Workp. 226
Race, Ethnicity, and the Sociology of Workp. 227
Government Efforts to Uproot Racial and Ethnic Disparitiesp. 238
Conclusionp. 243
Immigrant Workers: Marginal Work, Networks, and Entrepreneurshipp. 244
Migration of the Poor: Mexicans, Central Americans, and Filipinosp. 247
Immigrant Hiring: Networks and Gatewaysp. 256
Immigrants and Entrepreneurshipp. 261
Summaryp. 267
The Future of Work: Key Issues and Social Choicesp. 269
Work and Familyp. 271
The Rise of Domesticityp. 271
Work Time, Family Time, and Work-Family Conflictp. 274
Cross-National Differences in Work and Familyp. 283
The Growth of Nonstandard Employment Contracts and the "24/7" Economyp. 286
Conclusionp. 288
The New American Workplacep. 290
Trends in Occupational Growth: Some Evidencep. 291
The Changing Employment Relationshipp. 296
The Participatory Management Movementp. 301
Conclusionp. 313
Globalization and the American Workplacep. 315
Dimensions of Globalizationp. 316
The Meaning of Globalization for the American Workerp. 319
Conclusions: Shaping Globalizationp. 333
Referencesp. 336
Indexp. 365
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